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Beautiful Teachers in a Beautiful World

August 17, 2013

The world is such a beautiful place on evenings like this.

The sun is going down, and the weather is perfectly mild. I sit in the backseat of my car listening to an Italian piece on the radio. I recognize Josh Groban’s voice. I have no idea what he is singing about, but it is bellissimmo.

How can you not think the world exquisite when you are listening to this? I want to cry of happiness.

My arms are folded behind my headrest, and my cheek rests on on my right arm. The wind blows in my face as we accelerate.

Then we are home. There are many things I want to do tonight: paint, read, and perhaps watch a movie. But first, I open my laptop and check my e-mail.

I see a message from my professor from the English class I had just completed a few days ago. Our marks for our final project have been posted.

I check it and see what I had seen earlier. I smile again. I click on the attached file so that I can see the comments — I couldn’t see them before when I had tried to click on the file.

I read the comments and want to cry. The professor is such a beautiful person–inside and out. I will always remember her. The assignment I had handed in a few weeks ago was a creative project in which I had written about my experiences of leaving my home university for the year to pursue my passion: teaching. The “creative” part of it was that it was written in the style of Harriet Jacobs.

The comments she left me were so incredibly beautiful. It reminds me of what she told me after my exam. I walked up to her to say goodbye. I thanked her for everything, and she thanked me for participating in her class all of those times when nobody else wanted to participate. Before I turned to leave, she said to me, “Good luck with your teaching career! You’ll be a great teacher.” I was surprised at what she had said, given that I had not mentioned to this before, but thanked her nevertheless. It was only after when I realized that she must have already read my creative assignment and that was how she knew about my wanting to go into teaching.

It just reminds me of how important it is to talk to one’s professors and teacher assistants. Since second year, I have been making a bigger effort to reach out to my professors and teacher assistants, asking them for help and/or advice. It has helped tremendously, not just in helping me achieve better grades but just helping me feel… more a part of scholarly community. In first year, I used to think of professors and teacher assistants as really intimidating and “scary” people who didn’t want to waste their time with me. I was wrong. Most of these people really do want to help you, and this simply is just wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I am so glad I went to university.

The world is really such a wonderful place when you have mild evenings like this and meet wonderful people like my English professor. I have been so fortunate to have had so many wonderful educators in my life. So fortunate.

You know, they say that teachers are the second most important people in a child’s life–first being parents/guardians–because the child spends most of his/her time with teachers. I have been so lucky to have such wonderful teachers: most of them were English teachers actually. My seventh grade teacher, whom at the time I had despised with great intensity, taught me discipline in writing and told me that I wasn’t stupid… I just had a brain that worked too quickly and a hand that wrote too slowly; my English tutor during grade eight made me fall in love with English prose and grammar; my twelfth grade English teacher made me the English tutor I am today; and finally, my fourth year English professor who told me that I have what it takes to be both a great writer and an English teacher. There was one other teacher who, of all teachers, had the greatest effect on me. He was not an English teacher, but I will always treasure him just the same, if not more.

I truly hope that someday, I will make someone’s list of “Teachers whom I will never forget.”

I think I will paint now.

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